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A Mahayana Reading of Chalcedon Christology: A Chinese Response to John Keenan

A Mahayana Reading of Chalcedon Christology: A Chinese Response to John Keenan ESSAYS A Mahäyäna Reading of Chalcedon Christology: A Chinese Response to John Keenan Lai Pan-chiu Chinese University of Hong Kong introduction The Christological formula of Chalcedon, especially its use of the substantialist con- cepts such as ousia, hypostatsis, and so on, has long been a target of criticism in the history of Western Christian theology. Recently, Kwok Pui-lan, an Asian feminist theologian, has queried not only the language or way of thinking of traditional West- ern Christology, but also its anthropocentric tendency. According to Kwok, “the majority of Asian people find it difficult to accept a savior in human form because of their cosmological sensibility.” Kwok also thinks that the Chalcedonian expressions such as “fully God and fully man” or “two natures in one substance” are quite beyond the understanding of the majority of the Asian people. The lengthy debate on the dif- ference between homoousia and homoiousia is also irrelevant to the average Chinese, because there are no immediate Chinese equivalents to the terms such as “being” or “essence.” According to Kwok, Buddhism, in contrast, characterizes the world as transient and impermanent without using the philosophical language such as “being” and “nonbeing.” Kwok further notes that “The Buddhist http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Buddhist-Christian Studies University of Hawai'I Press

A Mahayana Reading of Chalcedon Christology: A Chinese Response to John Keenan

Buddhist-Christian Studies , Volume 24 – Jan 10, 2005

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2004 The University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-9472

Abstract

ESSAYS A Mahäyäna Reading of Chalcedon Christology: A Chinese Response to John Keenan Lai Pan-chiu Chinese University of Hong Kong introduction The Christological formula of Chalcedon, especially its use of the substantialist con- cepts such as ousia, hypostatsis, and so on, has long been a target of criticism in the history of Western Christian theology. Recently, Kwok Pui-lan, an Asian feminist theologian, has queried not only the language or way of thinking of traditional West- ern Christology, but also its anthropocentric tendency. According to Kwok, “the majority of Asian people find it difficult to accept a savior in human form because of their cosmological sensibility.” Kwok also thinks that the Chalcedonian expressions such as “fully God and fully man” or “two natures in one substance” are quite beyond the understanding of the majority of the Asian people. The lengthy debate on the dif- ference between homoousia and homoiousia is also irrelevant to the average Chinese, because there are no immediate Chinese equivalents to the terms such as “being” or “essence.” According to Kwok, Buddhism, in contrast, characterizes the world as transient and impermanent without using the philosophical language such as “being” and “nonbeing.” Kwok further notes that “The Buddhist

Journal

Buddhist-Christian StudiesUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jan 10, 2005

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